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Emily Klass at Craftland; China Blue at Newport Art Museum

Interpreting patterns
The main motif of Emily Klass's pen and black ink drawings is circles.
By GREG COOK  |  August 09, 2011

Thomas Cole works 4

Painting – and video – of the American landscape

Manifest destiny
"Painting the American Vision" — 45 rapturous paintings from the New York Historical Society — surveys the Hudson River School painters, dubbed for the upstate New York river where they spent their summers prospecting for sights to transform into ravishing canvases in their Manhattan studios each winter.
By GREG COOK  |  August 02, 2011

Fair sculptures at Decordova

Eva Hesse at the ICA and Tory Fair at the deCordova

Women's work
Hesse's ability to imbue her art with body and blood and gravity anticipated the kinder, gentler minimalism of today's Anish Kapoor, Rachel Whiteread, and Roni Horn, as well as the fleshy fairy-tale figures of Kiki Smith. Boston sculptor Tory Fair has descended from Smith's family tree, with glossy resin or lumpy rubber casts of her own nude body uncannily sprouting vines and flowers.
By GREG COOK  |  July 26, 2011

decordova wall

The deCordova thinks about ''murals''

Off the Wall
In "Wall Works" at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, curatorial fellow Lexi Lee Sullivan attempts to corral a trend in art today that spans graffiti and interior decoration.
By GREG COOK  |  July 19, 2011


Review: Tom Wolfe at The NMAI and Trent Burleson at the NAM

Newport views
Tom Wolfe is famous for authoring the nonfiction books The Right Stuff and The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test , as well as the novel The Bonfire of the Vanities . And for wearing white suits, sometimes with matching homburg hat and gloves.
By GREG COOK  |  July 12, 2011


Review: ''Remember the Ladies'' at the Newport Art Museum

Women's work
Rhode Island is one of the preeminent places for art-making in America, thanks in great part to the Rhode Island School of Design, but what would it be without its pioneering women?  
By GREG COOK  |  July 07, 2011

mcc list

The MCC Awards at Tufts, 'Flourish' at MassArt, and 'The Cave Project'

Thinking locally
On the whole, I wish many of these 13 grant winners were more exciting. The art often feels conservative or academic. Even when the craft is impressive, the artists often seem to have little they care about and little to say.
By GREG COOK  |  July 11, 2011


Review: ''Among the Breakage'' scratches the surface at Bell Gallery

An incomplete picture
Over the past dec-ade, Providence art has been known for its visionary printmaking and graphics, crafty constructions, and funhouse installations, but local painting has tended to operate out of the limelight.
By GREG COOK  |  June 28, 2011

St Peter's Greasy Pole

Greased up in Gloucester

Big Slick
When people picture the greasy pole, they often envision men scaling a vertical pole, as in Boston's Festival Betances.
By GREG COOK  |  June 22, 2011


Review: Kovac's ''Comfortable Distance'; Kurt's ''Sex Objects''

Covered up, stripped down
In Delia Kovac's painting Semi Self-Portrait As a Ski Mask , the eyes stare out of the cartooned mask doleful and maybe a bit bonkers, while the mouth hole is empty.
By GREG COOK  |  June 21, 2011

flushed list

Phoenix critic confesses all

As the anniversary of the show approached, it seemed like the MFA might let this landmark in its history — and Boston art history — pass unnoted. So I stepped up as, let's say, a guest curator.    
By GREG COOK  |  June 24, 2011

bathroom show at museum of fine arts

Local artists commemorate -- and re-stage -- a legendary protest

"Flush with the Walls" at the MFA
A group of 21 local artists have snuck their drawings, prints, photos and sculptures into a pair of bathrooms at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts for a one-night, guerilla exhibit.
By GREG COOK  |  June 15, 2011

ray miller list

Man Ray and Lee Miller at the Peabody Essex Museum

 L'amour fou
"Man Ray | Lee Miller, Partners in Surrealism," organized by curator Phillip Prodger at the Peabody Essex Museum, is an impressive exhibit of 76 photos, paintings, sculptures, and letters that came out of their steamy three-year affair, plus art by their pals — Picasso, Calder, Le Corbusier.  
By GREG COOK  |  June 24, 2011


Review: Leitzel and Billings at AS220; and ''Creative Collective''

Light and dark
In Marc Leitzel's sharply real scratchboard drawings in AS220's main gallery (115 Empire Street, Providence, through June 25), he depicts a tense moment between a couple in bed, a wind-blown woman wrapped in a cape, and a woman with tree branches and leaves bound up in her hair and opossums or rodents peeking out from the leaves.
By GREG COOK  |  June 14, 2011


Angry art: ''Rhode Island Blows''

Design Dept.
A few months back, openly gay Rhode Island House Speaker Gordon Fox backed away from a same-sex marriage bill, which he believed would not pass, and threw his support behind civil unions.
By GREG COOK  |  June 15, 2011

summer art gallery and museum events around boston and new england

The must-see art of the summer

Season of surreality
Summer art in New England means driving up Route 1 in Maine with the car windows down, past the odd and amazing roadside metal giraffes and caterpillars, and discovering — as I did a few summers back — a nondescript house that turns out to be Fawcett's Antique Toy & Art Museum.
By GREG COOK  |  June 10, 2011


What neighbors helping neighbors can show us about good government

We take care of our own
Montana Phipps was supposed to go out for a run with a friend after school, but the dark storm clouds squelched their plans. So on June 1, she was in her bedroom at the end of Stewart Avenue, with a view across her neighborhood of wide lawns, hedges, and leafy trees in Monson, a town of some 8500 people nestled in a valley about two hours' drive west of Boston.
By GREG COOK  |  June 09, 2011


Review: Cody Thompson's ''Witch Doctor'' at Craftland

The human touch
The owl-falcon smiles with demonic, googly-eyes and a wide, maniacal, fanged grin.
By GREG COOK  |  June 07, 2011

arts list g

DeCordova looks ahead with Andy Goldsworthy and Ursula von Rydingsvard

Digging in
Goldsworthy straddles land art and environmental art.
By GREG COOK  |  June 02, 2011


Review: ''Conversations'' at West Side Arts; plus, Tayo Heuser

Darkness and light
William Schaff's art is full of bloody warmongers, flaming demons, terminally ill patients, ecstatic saints, and drunks vomiting up heaps of emaciated bodies.
By GREG COOK  |  May 31, 2011
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